Monday, 21 November 2011

Squash, Chilli and Sage with Parmesan Crumb Topping

Now we are coming towards the end of autumn and winter is starting to approach, the flavours and taste of the season are still aplenty.  On a recent visit to my local and favourite farm shop, there was a selection of different squashes.  All different shapes, sizes, colour and textures.  They instantly called out to me and I knew what I wanted to do with them.  A Gem squash, one similar to a baby butternut squash, and a green bumpy one that I have no idea what it’s name is, found their way into my basket. 


The soft texture of squash with the fragrance of sage, a little kick of chilli and the crunchy texture of a parmesan topping is both satisfying and comforting.  A wonderful side dish that goes well with chicken wrapped in smoked streaky bacon and roasted cherry tomatoes.  When choosing the selection of your squashes, go for the softer skinned varieties so that you can eat the skin.  The gem squash and the bumpy one had a hard skin that was inedible and just got harder when it cooked.  If you are not able to get the softer ones, don’t worry.  Eat the flesh and leave the skin as I did.

Squash, Chilli and Sage with Parmesan Crumb Topping


Serves 4

:: 3 different small Squashes deseeded and cut into wedges  :: 1 red Chilli deseeded and finely chopped :: 10-12 Sage leaves :: handful Parmesan finely grated :: handful fresh Breadcrumbs :: Olive Oil :: Salt & Pepper

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6/200C.  Place the squashes into a roasting dish along with the chilli, and sage leaves. Season with salt & pepper and then toss all together with a drizzle of olive oil.  Place in the oven for 30 mins, or until the squash is tender and soft.

While they are in the oven, put the Parmesan and Breadcrumbs in a bowl with a good drizzle of Olive Oil and mix well.

After 30 mins take the squash out of the oven and sprinkle over the Parmesan Breadcrumbs and put back in the oven until golden brown and delicious.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

A Decadent Autumnal Dessert…

Pear, Blackberry and Chocolate Tart from A Slice of Cherry Pie

As much as I love Spring and Summer, there is something I find comforting when the clocks go back.  To me it really signifies that Autumn is now here.  There will soon be the knock on the door of ghosts and ghouls asking for treats or giving tricks, the smoke filled air as flashes of colour and bangs take over the night sky.  Or it could be that Christmas is fast approaching.

It has become a bit of a tradition now, that when the clocks go back it’s time to make Beef Cobbler.  A warm and satisfying meal, just what you crave when the nights draw in.  Sunday morning I was sat enjoying a cup of tea, leisurely looking through cookbooks for a fitting dessert to go with it.  Turning the pages in Julia Parsons ‘A Slice of Cherry Pie’, I come across what must be the most autumnal and decadent dessert I have seen – Pear, Blackberry and Chocolate Tart.  So simple to make and put together, flavours that match past perfection and every spoonful is a luxury.

I have now made this several times in the last few weeks, and every time it receives compliment after compliment with many a guest proclaiming this is the best dessert they have had.  Go on, try it yourself.